As part of activities to commemorate the World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2016, Mrs Toyin Saraki, wife of the Senate President and President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), an NGO dedicated to reducing maternal and infant mortality rates in Nigeria, has launched 10 breastfeeding initiative steps for both mothers and healthcare givers.
The 10 steps were unveiled by the Foundation’s MamaCare Midwives in some parts of the country, namely; Lagos and Kwara States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, during their MamaCare Classes, as part of its activities to celebrate the World Breastfeeding Week.
Mrs. Saraki, in line with the events, chaired the Civil Society for Scaling-up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) Stakeholders’ meeting on the 3rd of August in Abuja, where she spoke on the importance of breastfeeding and nutrition in the life of every child.
She also visited the Dutse-Alhaji Primary Health Centre, where the MamaCare Ante-natal class was holding, with expectant mothers receiving health education.
During her visit to the health centre, she encouraged the women; emphasized the importance of exclusive breastfeeding; and announced a new scheme that will be introduced for the benefit of mothers and children.
Also, the Country Director of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, attended the Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) Technical Workshop on the Nigeria Breast milk Substitutes (BMS) Code, as organised by Alive & Thrive, FH 360, and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
To round off celebrations of the World Breastfeeding Week, Mrs Saraki, on Thursday 4th of August, 2016 featured in #UnaWakeUpShow, a Radio program on Wazobia FM which was anchored by On-Air-Personalities, Bigmo and Nyanga.
Mrs Saraki took time to speak on the 10 Breastfeeding Initiative steps for both mothers and healthcare givers, advising mothers on the DOs and DON’Ts of breastfeeding practices.
According to her, the 10 steps to successful breastfeeding for mothers are: “Lubricating the nipple, frequently pulling out the nipple to promote prominence and enabling baby to latch properly; regular cleansing of the nipple and the areola in preparation for breastfeeding; mothers should initiate breastfeeding within half an hour of birth; Wear a nursing bra that is a size larger; avoid underwire bras and wear clothes that enable you flip your bra under, not over your breast while nursing; and make sure the baby is well positioned at the breast; latch on correctly and breastfeed on demand.
Others include, “Change your baby’s feeding position but ensure baby finish feeding at one breast before switching in order to empty the breast sufficiently; vary nursing positions throughout the day, at least once during each feed; position the baby so that the jaw points towards the plug; mothers should sit comfortably, and take the baby to the breast and not the breast to the baby to avoid back pain while breastfeeding; wash your hands after each of these procedures: before touching your breasts, diaper change, using the bathroom – and change bra pads frequently; and mothers should express breast milk, and preserve for not more than eight hours in order to maintain lactation even when they are separated from their infants.
She further advised caregivers, especially facilities that provide maternity services and care for newborn infants should to: “Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff; train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy; inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding; help mothers initiate breastfeeding within a half-hour of birth; and show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they should be separated from their infants.
Caregivers are also to: “Ensure newborn infants have no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated; rooming-in: Allow mothers and infants remain together – 24 hours a day; encourage breastfeeding on demand; give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeed infants; and foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic,” she said.
The WBFA Founder also took out time to speak on domestic violence. “The strength of a man should not be measured by the weakness, or submissiveness of a woman; we are all partners, whose strengths, and weaknesses should holistically become a stronger unit, together,” she said.